Newsletter 23 March 2011

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News & Events…

Oxford & Cambridge Goat Race @ Spitalfields City Farm, E1, 26 March

1120 Newsletter 23 March 2011Now in its third year, the Oxford & Cambridge Goat Race takes place at exactly the same time as the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race.  Gates open at 1pm with goat related nonsense happening right up until the race itself at 5pm, including the ‘Nice Butt Contest’, the ‘How Low Can You Goat’ competition and a breakaway ‘Oxford & Cambridge Stoat Race’.  The Goat Race’s resident DJ and acoustic performers will be providing entertainment and there will also be market stalls selling food and drink, including produce from Delamere Dairy.  Tickets are £4 from www.seetickets.com/Event/THE-OXFORD-CAMBRIDGE-GOAT-RACE-2011/Spitalfields-City-Farm/545351

Live Jazz Sundays @ Ora, W1

London’s latest addition to fine Thai dining, Ora, and the City Jazz group, are inviting music lovers to end their weekend in style with a series of Sunday evening jazz nights.  Renowned City Jazz saxophonist Sam Sharp will entertain alongside a different guest musician each week, treating diners to a mix of classical and contemporary jazz. Additionally, the restaurant has put on a £25/head three course menu of contemporary Thai dishes to fill your Sundays with great food and music!  Jazz Sundays on until 10 April. www.ora-restaurant.co.uk

New Openings…

The Modern Pantry Pop-Up @ Meza, W1, until 16 April

1121 Newsletter 23 March 2011With the original Modern Pantry permanently housed in Clerkenwell, the West End has long been deprived of the bold flavours, colourful ingredients and innovative use of Asian spices that chef Anna Hansen has become famed for.  However, for one month only, Anna has transported her popular eclectic menu to Meza in Soho.  Dishes include firm favourites such as Sugar-cured New Caledonian prawn omelette; Beetroot, currant, okra & feta fritters; and Roast cod, chorizo, clams, squid ink mash & samphire.  Along with the menu, the restaurant and bar at Meza have also been transformed, taking on the minimal and comfortable surroundings that define The Modern Pantry.  www.themodernpantryatmeza.co.uk

The Arch Bar @ InterContinental London Park Lane, W1

Set within the renowned InterContinental hotel, The Arch bar boasts unobstructed views of the outside gardens and parks as well as the iconic Wellington Arch.   Discerning drinks aficionados will appreciate their stocking of a number of virtually undiscovered artisan London producers – including 25 different gins – as well as a cool botanical apothecary.  Additionally, guests visiting between 5.30-6.30pm will be treated to the Arch Bar Gin Hour, when they will have the chance to sample the bartenders’ daily gin special cocktail. www.intercontinental.com

London Syon Park Hotel & The Capability Restaurant, TW7

Spring has finally arrived which means visits to the greener areas of London’s outskirts are now on the cards.  Jumping straight to the top of the list of places to visit is the newly launched London Syon Park Hotel in West London.  Opened by Waldorf Astoria Hotels, luxury is high on the agenda, with 137 guest rooms available in the Grade I listed Syon House set in 200 acres of beautiful parkland.  The food offering also sounds impressive.  The highlight comes in the form of The Capability restaurant, which showcases rustic and seasonal dishes created from ingredients grown at Syon Park. Somewhat impressively, the restaurant also includes a Wine Room, Humidor, Cigar Terrace and Herb Garden. www.londonsyonpark.com

Try This Week…

Olives Et Al Salad Dressings

1122 Newsletter 23 March 2011As the brilliant bright colours hit the shops for spring and the greys and neutrals are all packed away – so thoughts turn to new fresh flavours to eat out in the sunshine.  Olives Et Al’s dressings have launched just in time to take advantage of brighter days when meal times increasingly feature crispy leaves, spring veg, soft cheeses and fresh seafood.  The summer collection includes a range of delicious tongue-tingling flavours including Shallot & Orange, Raspberry & Mint, and Lemon & Dill – all made with lashings of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and big helpings of completely natural fruit juices. Dressings costs £4 and are widely available in good delis, food halls and from www.olivesetal.com

1123 Newsletter 23 March 2011Greenall’s Gin 250 Year Anniversary Edition

As the UK’s longest continuing gin distillery and also the second largest gin distiller, you’ve got to take your hats off to the makers of Greenall’s Original London Dry Gin for achieving 250 years of production.  To mark this impressive anniversary, G&J Greenall’s has unveiled a vibrant new bottle, featuring a contemporary, abstract green Union Jack pattern, giving the bottle a new modern twist on its Great British heritage.  The production of Greenall’s Gin is virtually the same today as when creator Thomas Dakin distilled the recipe 250 years ago, using local Warrington water and copper pot stills.  The spirit itself also maintains the gin’s renowned traditional flavour, infused by the botanicals of Wild Tuscan juniper, subtle Moroccan coriander and zesty Spanish lemons. Widely available for around £12.49.  www.gjgreenall.co.uk

Reviews…

Petrus, SW1

1124 Newsletter 23 March 2011Gordon Ramsay may now be more (in)famous for his out-of-kitchen antics than the dazzling cooking skills that earned him his place in the spotlight, but there’s no doubting Gordon’s ability to pick out a great chef.  Remember, this is the guy who has brought us the talents of Jason Atherton, Angela Hartnett and the man who put the original Petrus on the map, Marcus Wareing.  Despite Wareing leaving and the restaurant moving round the corner from its original location at the Berkeley Hotel, new Head Chef Sean Burbidge’s cooking ensured our experience at Petrus was nothing short of brilliant.

The Manor Arms, SW16

Long-standing Streatham pub, The Manor Arms, has looked to the past to take it into the future with its recent relaunch.  Set on the site of a former grimy boozer, the new owners have provided this neglected venue with a refurb that has seen the restoration of many of its original 1930′s features to create an elegant art-deco style venue. The refurb goes more than skin deep though.  Opened with the aim of becoming the first point of call for the food and drink needs of local residents, The Manor Arms has employed some highly regarded industry professionals to create a seriously impressive restaurant and bar experience.

(click on restaurant names to read full reviews)